Kam and I have just finished watching the first season of the Canadian TV show Orphan Black, and I love it.
I first heard of it a couple months ago, when various friends linked to pieces about the Women Who Kick Ass panel at this year's Comic-Con. I knew of and liked Michelle Rodriguez, Maggie Q, and Katee Sackhoff, and I knew about the show Danai Gurira is in (Walking Dead) but I hadn't heard of Tatiana Maslany or her show Orphan Black. But various of my friends who discussed the panel mentioned liking her, and liking that she plays multiple roles in the series, and it sounded intriguing. So I tried it out.
It turns out that the first season, only ten episodes, ran earlier this year on Canadian TV and BBC America, and is now available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, DVD, and Blu-ray. The second season, also ten episodes, starts next April.
Here's Netflix's description of the show, which is a pretty good way to introduce it without spoilers for the major central sf element:
When Sarah witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks just like her, she assumes the deceased's identity, her boyfriend, and her bank account. Soon, she finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly conspiracy.
I'm finding the show compelling and suspenseful (and regularly laugh-out-loud funny, and occasionally sad), and it does a great job of managing revelations. But what I like most about it is the characters—especially Sarah and Felix, but also almost all of the others. And Maslany is indeed particularly impressive in multiple roles. I also like that it's very queer-friendly (Felix, for example, is delightfully over-the-top flamboyant, but is nonetheless three-dimensional).
And it occurs to me that Hugo-nomination time is nearly upon us, and I would love to nominate this show. But I'm not sure how best to go about it. The individual episodes aren't really self-contained (another reason I love the show); it's one continuous storyline. (The creators of the Previouslys do their best, but as with several of my other favorite shows, trying to dive into the middle would, I think, be nearly impossible.)
I guess it seems to me that the best fit with the Hugo structure (though still an awkward fit) would be to nominate all of season 1 in the Dramatic Presentation Long Form category. There is precedent for that: Game of Thrones season 1 was nominated last year, and Heroes season 1 was nominated in 2008. But in general I feel like Hugo nominators tend to think TV belongs in Short Form. Also, I doubt there'll be any room on the Long Form ballot for anything beyond major high-profile movies this year, given Hunger Games 2, Pacific Rim, Gravity, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, Hobbit 2, Thor 2, Iron Man 3, Frozen, Man of Steel, and Ender's Game. Not to mention a dozen others that I didn't see a lot of sf people talking about but that were pretty high-profile and/or big-budget. I predict that the Long Form ballot will consist of the first three movies I've listed there plus two others from that list.
So I suppose I could nominate the Orphan Black pilot in Short Form. Dunno. Those of you who've seen it, are you planning to nominate it? And if so, in what category?
Those of you who haven't seen it: give it a try. You can watch the pilot for $3 on various major streaming-video services, or buy the whole series on streaming video for less than the cost of two movie-theatre tickets.